IJLLL 2022 Vol.8(2): 74-78 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2022.8.2.325

A Study of Negative Transfer of Mother Tongue in English Majors’ Writing

Jie Chen and Yi Zhang
Abstract—This paper, based on the theory of language transfer, aims to study the negative transfer of mother tongue in the English majors’ writing as well as its reasons. With the aid of computer software aimwriting and manual checking, this study is conducted with the 47 writing samples from junior English majors from Northwestern Polytechnical University. The students’ argumentative writings are chosen as samples for case study. The result of study shows that up to 70% of the students’ errors are due to the negative transfer of mother tongue. The errors can be roughly categorized into three: vocabulary, syntax and morphology. The reasons for negative transfer of mother tongue can be ascribed to the lack of awareness of negative transfer of mother tongue, weak mastery of different characteristics between two languages and the lack of cross-cultural awareness. It is hoped that this paper could raise some people’s attention to the negative transfer of mother tongue.

Index Terms—Negative transfer of mother tongue, English writing, reasons for errors.

The authors are with the Northwestern Polytechnical University, China (e-mail: chenjie810358141@163.com, yizhang@nwpu.edu.cn).

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Cite:Jie Chen and Yi Zhang, "A Study of Negative Transfer of Mother Tongue in English Majors’ Writing," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 74-78, 2022.

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